CDC Bumps Ukraine to Highest Level of COVID-19 Risk for Travel

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
October 26, 2021 Updated: October 27, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added Ukraine to its list of “very high” risk travel destinations, citing the spread of COVID-19.

Ukraine, the second-largest country in Europe in terms of land area, was moved this week to Level 4, the highest risk category under the CDC’s guidelines, from Level 3.

Earlier this month, the United States bumped up Singapore—a country with one of the highest vaccination rates in the world—to Level 4, and days before that, Belarus was deemed a Level 4 risk travel destination as well. Several other eastern European countries, including Romania, Moldova, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, were listed as Level 4 at around the same time.

In its bulletin for Ukraine, the federal health agency repeated several warnings to not travel to Ukraine unless one is fully vaccinated.

“If you must travel to Ukraine, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel,” the CDC stated on Oct. 25. “Because of the current situation in Ukraine, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.

“Travelers should follow recommendations or requirements in Ukraine, including wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from others.”

The CDC then clarified that vaccinated people are less likely to develop serious illness from COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

“However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some COVID-19 variants,” the CDC stated, without elaborating on how international travel would pose a greater risk than domestic travel.

Other countries that have been deemed Level 4 risks by the CDC include Austria, Bahamas, Botswana, Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, Maldives, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, and the UK.

The designation comes as President Joe Biden signed an order on Oct. 25 imposing new vaccine requirements for most air travelers. Children younger than the age of 18 are exempt from the vaccine requirement.

“It is in the interests of the United States to move away from the country-by-country restrictions previously applied during the COVID-19 pandemic and to adopt an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccination to advance the safe resumption of international air travel to the United States,” Biden’s proclamation reads.

Earlier this month, the CDC said it would accept any vaccine that’s authorized for use by the World Health Organization and that it will accept mixed-dose COVID-19 vaccines from travelers. That means that the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, which is heavily used by Latin American nations, is left off the list—amid an escalating row between Washington and Moscow.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.